John Gennari is Professor of English and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of Vermont. He is an American Studies-trained U.S. cultural historian with specializations in jazz and popular music, race and ethnicity, Italian American culture, food, sports, and cultural criticism. He is the author of Flavor and Soul: Italian America at Its African American Edge (University of Chicago Press, 2017. His earlier book, Blowin’ Hot and Cool: Jazz and Its Critics (University of Chicago Press, 2006), was awarded the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for Excellence in Music Criticism and the John Cawelti Award for the Best Book in American Culture. Gennari has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University, and the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia. 

​He received his B.A. from Harvard College for Social Studies in 1982 and continued his education in American Civilization studies at the University of Pennsylvania where he earned his Ph.D.



cover of Flavor and Soul: Italian America at its African American Edge by john GennariFlavor and Soul: Italian America at its African American Edge (University of Chicago Press, 2017)
cover of Blowin’ Hot and Cool: Jazz and Its Critics by John GennariBlowin’ Hot and Cool: Jazz and Its Critics (University of Chicago Press, 2006; second edition, 2017).

Selected Recent Articles, Chapters, and Essays

“Wacky Post-Fluxus Revolutionary Mixed Media Shenanigans”: Rethinking Jazz and Jazz
Studies through Jason Moran’s Multimedia Performance”
The Routledge Companion
to Jazz Studies
, eds. Nicholas Gebhardt, Nichole Rustin, and Tony Whyton (London and
New York: Routledge, 2018).
"Tuck this Accent Back into the Bronx Earth: Annie Lanzillotto’s Language of SopravvivenzaIntroduction to Annie Lanzillotto, Pitch Roll Yaw (Toronto: Guernica): xvii-xxvi.
“Solid Sound: Growing Up in an Italian American World”Vermont Quarterly (Fall 2017): 16-17.
“Keeping America Great”i-Italy
( great), February 2017
“Groovin’: A Condensed History of Italian Americans in Popular Music and Jazz”The Routledge
History of Italian Americans
, ed. William J. Connell and Stanislao Pugliese (London and New
York: Routledge): 415-432.
“Jazz in America after 1945”The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, ed. Jon
Butler, Online. 2016
“The Sound and the Fury: The Acoustics of Afro-Italian Life in Kym Ragusa’s The Skin Between Us”Voices in Italian Americana 26/2 (Fall 2015): 34-46.


Awards and Recognition

University of Vermont, College of Arts and Sciences, Dean’s Lecture Award, Spring 2008

ASCAP-Deems Taylor Prize for Excellence in Music Criticism, 2007

John G. Cawelti Award for the Best Book in American Culture Studies, 2007

Tim Shiner Ally Award (“for strong commitment to work within the UVM ALANA community in an effort to create social change”), 2007

UVM Women’s Center Outstanding Ally Award (“for your significant contribution to feminist and anti-sexist activism on the campus”), 2007.

Associations and Affiliations

American Studies Association
Italian American Studies Association
Society for Cinema and Media Studies
Modern Language Association
Organization of American Historians
Jazz Study Group (Columbia University)

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

U.S. ethnic studies, jazz studies, food studies, popular culture, cultural criticism


  • Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 1993


  • 802-656-3435
Office Location:

Old Mill 401

Office Hours:

by appt

Courses Taught

  • Jazz, Literature, and Film
  • Italian American Literature and Culture
  • Food and American Culture
  • Multiracialism and American Culture
  • Black Popular Culture